@iLabAfrica

The Event That Was: Nairobi Tech Week (N TW)2017

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#NTW2017 was the hashtag buzzing the 4-day event between 22nd March and 25th March 2017 all over social media. This year’s event was arguably the best one yet as it united local and global software and industry leaders, coupled with developer workshops and challenges, as well as informative panel discussions, all of which had a huge impact to all attendees.

After opening keynotes from Facebook, Moringa School and @iBizAfrica – Strathmore University representatives the NTW2017 participants were introduced to the event with very interesting sessions. The first one was a Scrum Training aimed at teaching participants on the development and deployment of resilient financial USSD applications. Occurring concurrently was a workshop by Safaricom that educated the participants on Intellectual Property and it’s importance in today’s technology space. Google also had a very interesting workshop on building scalable web applications through the Google Cloud Platform.

After the lunch break the participants had a hard time on deciding which workshop to attend as they all looked exciting.

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JUMO WORLD facilitated one session on MOB Programming, Moringa School had theirs on designing for Mobile and Intel enlightened attendees on the fundamentals of Machine Learning, Deep Learning & Artificial Intelligence. It wasn’t any easier in the evening as Brave Ventures in their workshop challenged the participants to think like Data Scientists.

Participants who attended the Dalberg workshop learnt how to create an effective relationship between Developers and Designers, while those who attended the Facebook workshop got to understand the business opportunity on the Facebook Messenger platform and how to leverage and maximize on the Messenger Bot API.

Day 2 commenced with the kickoff of the Angel Hack Hackathon with Facebook and JUMO which challenged developers to unite and come up with innovative mobile solutions.

NTW3Developers were so engrossed in the hackathon as they were ready to stay overnight developing their applications. They did! There was the promise of mind-blowing prizes and opportunities for the winners on each challenge, which kept them highly motivated.

 

In the meantime, there were several workshops and panel discussions as well. Industry experts from Twiga Foods, Cellulant, Seven Seas Technology, Summit Recruitment and Frontline SMS consisted of a panel that enlightened the attendees on the best ways to acquire developer talent in Sub Saharan Africa. Up next was another illuminating panel and workshop facilitated  by Dalberg, Brave Ventures, BRCK and Mercy Corps representatives on bringing UX (user experience) to new startups. The day was concluded with the Developer-Startup Speed Networking event. The hackathon continued overnight and on to the third day.

NTW4The third day began with a panel and workshop on Cyber Security. Representatives from KPMG, Ernst & Young, Euclid Consultancy as well as the Government discussed various issues on security facing the society such as lack of proper awareness, social engineering, IoT security and ransomware. They also advised the attendees on some practical things they can do to protect themselves and their organizations. The afternoon session was yet another educative workshop and panel discussion on The Do’s and The Don’ts of Product Management. There was also a TechTalk event which entailed the Previous, Present and Future of Technology.

By the time it was Day 4, the attendees were very informed and knowledgeable. Little did they know how promising the final day would be. It started off with a CTO panel discussion on scaling products into new markets, from both the operational and technological perspectives. The panel consisted Chief Technology Officers from JUMO, Safaricom, Cellulant and Facebook. They enlightened the participants how companies build products for scale, considerations they make as well as their challenges and experiences on the matter.

NTW5The next panel consisted of representatives of Eneza, BRCK, M-Shule and @iLabAfrica who discussed how developers can build tech products that uniquely serve the education sector. Liquid Telecom, Chimera, @iLabAfrica and MKOPA were also involved in another panel discussion concerning the Internet of Things (IoT) and its numerous applications. The final panel discussions before lunch break was the applications of Data Science in Fintech (with speakers from Eclectics, Juntos, IBM, Neveru, Busara and Intellipro) and how Technology is revolutionizing and disrupting traditional industries, with great emphasis on logistics; by TechMoran, Lori, Sendi, Vitumob and SokoWatch.

The afternoon sessions included a discussion by speakers from Techweez, Bithub Africa, Kimwatu and Crypto Assets on bitcoin and the implications of Blockchain technology in Africa. A panel with speakers from Intel, Microsoft, ProLabs and M-Changa engaged with the attendees on Artificial Intelligence and how it has taken the world by storm, with greater focus on Africa.

NMG, Twiga Foods, Gro Intelligence, WeFarm and FarmDrive on their panel discussion talked about agriculture and what technology can do to enhance agriculture. An E-commerce panel of representatives from Jumia, Mookh, Jumia Market and BuyRentKenya shared their experiences, strategies and challenges of e-commerce demands and supply chain and logistics.

Net Neutrality in Kenya was also a topic of discussion in another session. The final panel discussion of the day was on the role of corporates in supporting developers and SMEs by Moringa School, JUMO, Liquid Telecom and Facebook.

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The 4-day event was concluded with a closing keynote from the various companies as well as announcing the winners of the AngelHack Hackathon. This years winners of NairobiTech week was PesaPocket. @iBizAfrica will offer 3 months free Incubation services to the top 3 winners of the Nairobi Tech Week

@iBizAfrica partners with Wadhwani Foundation to build startup ecosystem in Strathmore University

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Strathmore University through @iBizAfrica has partnered with Wadhwani Foundation to build a vibrant startup ecosystem in Strathmore University. Wadhwani Foundation is the brain child of Romesh Wadhwani, American billionaire of Indian decent who made his wealth through an empire of data, technology, healthcare and analytics companies.

Through this partnership, @iBizAfrica will run the most upto date curriculum and practicum that merges theory with practice. The curriculum has been developed to enable any student in campus regardless of the course of study move from self-discovery and ideation to launching and growing a startup in campus. Students taking part in the program will also join groups and form an e-cell, a student-lead club focusing on the practical aspects of entrepreneurship.

The program is free for all Strathmore students to signup and start on a path to becoming an entrepreneur in Strathmore University. The program is expected to enhance Strathmore University’s student experience and at the same time become a launch pad for student-lead companies in the University.

The program will run every Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at @iLabAfrica (Kifaru Room). Interested students can find out more on how to benefit from this initiative by contacting @iBizAfrica via mail on ibizafrica@strathmore.edu or get in touch with Esther on esaya@strathmore.edu

Read more about Rornesh Wadhwani and Wadhwani Foundation here

ESET East Africa and @iLabAfrica Sign MoU to Fight Cyber Crime

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Kenya has in the recent past suffered from Internet Security threats such as hacking,impersonations, loss of money, loss of information and even exposure of confidential information. The attacks are mainly targeted at individuals, banks, financial institutions and government institutions.

A report by Deloitte named Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions 2017, ranked Kenya as one of the most vulnerable countries worldwide in terms of cyber security. Kenya has a current internet penetration of 85.3 percent, one of the highest in Africa.The report showed companies and government organizations in Kenya lost a record of US$171 million through cybercrime in 2016 and this is expected to rise by 30 percent by the end of 2017.

To help reduce cyber security threats in Kenya, ESET East Africa has signed a memorandum of understanding (M.O.U) with @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University. ESET will support Strathmore University’s current academic programs on cyber-security, through collaborative research and benchmarking approaches on issues of local interest such as ethical hacking, phishing and ransomware studies. Teddy Njoroge, Country Manager ESET East Africa, said the company will explore joint opportunities with like-minded partners and contribute assets in developing innovative cyber-security solutions targeting both blue chip businesses and Small and Medium Enterprises over the next one year.

Estimates indicate that Kenya has just about 1000 certified cyber-security specialists, way lower than the optimal 40,000 needed “The rise of cyber-crime and related information security incidents in the country can be attributed to this shortage of personnel coupled by the slow development of homegrown research driven solutions” said Collins Oduor the Information Technology Security Manager for @iLabAfrica centre.

@iLabAfrica offers customized cyber-security training in ethical hacking(CEH), computer hacking forensic investigation as well as certified security analyst courses to about 200 graduate and undergraduate students annually – drawn from the financial services sector, government agencies and academia.

Among other agreements, under the M.O.U with ESET East Africa, @iLabAfrica- Strathmore University plans to develop and introduce additional courses on emerging technologies and skills to tackle new cyber threats such as Internet of Things (IoT) Security, Security for Industrial Control Systems, Cyber security for Executives, Advance Malware Analysis and Secure Application Development among others.

Revenue Enhancement Specialized Training

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@iLabAfrica in partnership with key industry players offered this 4-day course which offered an approach to sustainable revenue mobilization and enforcement in local governments and looks at means of improving core revenue processes, systems, data quality, skills and organizational structures.

The course was graced with the presence of senior and middle managers in the revenue/finance departments of County Governments, including Directors, Chief Officers, Sub-county Administrators, Revenue Officers, and Members of the County Assembly (MCAs), in charge of the budgeting process. It was well represented with county officials from all over the country.

On the first day, through Dr. Walter Ongeti and Mr. Stephen Khadondi, the participants were challenged on disruptive strategic thinking and creative destruction – to shift the paradigm towards performance management in revenue collection through change management. They were also enlightened on the revenue mobilization constitutional mandate and PFM Architecture Analysis.

On the second day, the participants were able to gain and understand a lot on domestic resource mobilization policy, legal framework and administration as well as revenue enforcement strategies through a panel discussion that consisted representatives from CRA, COB, ICPAK, KRA, IFMIS and KIPPRA among others.

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Douglas Gicho, the ICT Director of Kiambu, during his afternoon session touched on holistic e-Governance and public-private partnerships on revenue collection and mobilization.

CRA Director, Sheila Yieke shed light on CRA Recommended County Revenue Laws, their implementation and revenue target setting on the third day. Stephen Masha reviewed the mandate of the COB in County Revenue Collection and Resource Mobilization.

On the final day Professor David Sperling, one of the founders of Strathmore University addressed the County Officials on economic growth, sustainable growth and equity. They were very amazed at how knowledgeable he is about kenya and development.

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Banking institutions also had their representatives in the area. They focused on maximum utilization of banking capabilities in revenue collection enhancement and introduction of cashless systems.

In the end each County had a representative who shared how they’ve benefited from the course and how they would use the recently acquired knowledge within their own counties.

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We acknowledge the CountyPro team that made the 4-day course a great success.

Techfugees Kenya Event on Blockchain & Refugee Emergency Response

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This event  marks the official kickoff of the Techfugees Chapter in Kenya.

The Problem: Many refugees, and people in refugee-like situations, across Africa are unable to prove their identity or access essential services. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, 80% of the total adult population are unbanked and do not have the necessary documentation to open a bank account, and without necessary documentation, many refugees are unable to access healthcare, seek legal protection, or enrol their children in schools. In response, private enterprises and humanitarian organisations have begun to look into Blockchain technology as a way to independently authenticate and validate exchanges of information, from personal identification to money transfers.

How can Blockchain help?

Blockchain is a cloud-based public ledger that automatically records all transactions and stores them securely for everyone to see. This enables independent entities to rely on the same, secured and audible source of information without the need of third-party oversight.

Mapping solutions

The technology behind Blockchain has the potential to transform refugee response. Blockchain is increasingly being used in refugee emergency response – for example, in Kenya, a company like BanQu helps refugees create digital identities based on Blockchain technology. This event brings together startups, innovators and humanitarians to explore multiple Blockchain initiatives that have the potential to improve a refugee’s life.

● How can Blockchain technology alleviate challenges faced by refugees by providing identification and financial mobility?

● Can Blockchain unlock essential services to refugees without government support?

● Which humanitarian organizations have started to use Blockchain technology in Africa?

● When it comes to refugee response and Blockchain: What are the lessons learned from Africa and outside of Africa?

● From QR codes to electronic cards and digital vouchers? How can Blockchain benefit refugees?

Confirmed Speakers

At this event, you will be hearing from representatives from:

● Welcome by the co-chairs of Techfugees Kenya

  • Josephine Goube – Techfugees: Background on Techfugees and our plans for 2017!
  •  Komminist Weldermariam – IBM: Introduction to Blockchain 101
  • Caroline Njuki -IGAD: Context – key challenges facing refugees in the region
  • David Yen – BitPesa: How Bitcoin can support refugees
  • Joseph Thompson – Aid:Tech: (via Skype): Using Blockchain to distribute aid in refugee camps
  • Diana Klein- WFP Kenya: Introduction to a Blockchain pilot project developed by theThe World Food Programme

Event Details

  • Date: 22nd of February 2017
  • Time: 4:30pm and 7:00pm, East Africa Time.
  • Location: Strathmore University, Main Auditorium

Apply: Ideas for Action (I4A)2017 Competition

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Every year, students and young professionals from around the world participate to design ideas for financing and implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Winners of the competition will present their ideas during the IMF & World Bank Annual Meetings, receive support from a dedicated startup accelerator at the Wharton School, and benefit from unique networking opportunities with other young leaders as well as some of the most senior decision-makers in international development, academia, and the private sector.

Your Proposal 

Your proposal should include the following:

  • Title and team name
  • Short abstract
  • Explanation of the problem and context: Briefly describe the problem that your proposal is addressing.
  • Your solution: Succinctly describe your idea (including design, target population, stakeholders, incentives, and implementation)
  • Expected impact: Why is it relevant?
  • Are there similar examples? If so, where and how?
  • Challenges: What are challenges you might face and how can they be addressed?

 Timeline 

  • Deadline for full proposal submissions: February 28, 2017
  • Announcement of submissions selected for the final round: March 21, 2017
  • Deadline for final submissions: April 17, 2017
  • Announcement of winners: May 31, 2017

Registration and Submission

Eligibility: Students and young professionals between the ages of 14-18 years and 18-35 years from around the world are invited participate.

Team Registration: Teams must consist of two to six members and may be formed across different schools, institutions, companies, countries, nationalities etc. Please register your teams prior to submitting your proposal. You will then receive all relevant updates regarding the competition and our upcoming events.

Submission: Proposals must be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format

Ready for this??apply here

Apply: Citi® Tech for Integrity Challenge

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Citi® Tech for Integrity Challenge

Citi® and its allies are proud to present the Citi® Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I), an open innovation challenge to source solutions that promote integrity, accountability and transparency in the public sector.

Solve for real-life problem statements that are relevant to government organizations globally.

Who can participate?

T4I is open to entries from all over the world. Both start-ups and mature technology corporates are welcome. If you’re chosen to participate at Demo Days, a pilot-ready solution must be showcased. Review the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Submission Categories

  • Financial Crimes and Illicit Activities
  • Analytics, Reporting and Transparency
  • Cutting The Red Tape
  • Procurement
  • Government Transactions
  • Culture, Ethics and Engagement
  • Information, Security and Identity
  • Crisis Management and Aid

For more information and how to apply, visit